University of Oulu

Pelttari, Paula; Koponen, Tuuli. Hiiltyneitä hirsiä ja kivettömiä kivikuoppia : Keminmaan Valmarinniemen keskiaikainen kirkonpaikka. Faravid 43, 2017, 55-80.

Hiiltyneitä hirsiä ja kivettömiä kivikuoppia : Keminmaan Valmarinniemen keskiaikainen kirkonpaikka

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Author: Pelttari, Paula1; Koponen, Tuuli2
Organizations: 1arkeologia
2arkeologia, Oulun yliopisto
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: Finnish
Published: Pohjois-Suomen historiallinen yhdistys, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-06-09


Charred Wooden Remains and Other Features from the Early Mediaeval Churchyard of Cape Valmarinniemi, Keminmaa

The excavations arranged by the University of Oulu at cape Valmarinniemi, Keminmaa during the summer of 1981 yielded extensive and significant research material concerning the early medieval history of Northern Finland. The traces of early ecclesiastical buildings were found with close to 150 burials. Nils Cleve pointed out the location of the churchyard in the Kemijoki-river mouth already in the 1950s, and archaeologist Pentti Koivunen finally uncovered it after decades of debate regarding the location by other researchers. This article aims to examine the churchyard and the existing evidence of building remains, their radiocarbon dating and certain aspects of burials, such as their depth and orientation, with the help of GIS. These features can help understand the use of the churchyard throughout the medieval period, as the ecclesiastical activities at the site date from the 1300s to late 1400s or early 1500s. Previous research seems to indicate that cape Valmarinniemi witnessed the construction of two wooden churches before the churchyard was moved a few kilometers higher up Kemijoki-river, where the old stone church of Keminmaa, dating to early 16th century, is still standing. The radiocarbon dating of charred wooden remains and the location of certain features seemed to verify that at least one church was built in Valmarinniemi in the early 1300s. However, the existence of two wooden churches could not be verified; the evidence was scarce and could be interpreted in different ways. Cape Valmarinniemi is an intriguing entity of fragmentary evidence that tell a tale of Christianization and also of unpredictable times for the people of Northern Finland from early 15th century onwards.

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Series: Faravid. Historian ja arkeologian tutkimuksen aikakauskirja
ISSN: 0356-5629
ISSN-L: 0356-5629
Volume: 43
Pages: 55 - 80
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © 2017 Kirjoittajat ja Pohjois-Suomen historiallinen yhdistys. Julkaistu tässä arkistossa edellä mainittujen luvalla.